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Posts Tagged ‘side dish’

Spinach with Sumac

This simple Syrian side dish has fantastic flavour. We ate it with some spiced fish but it would complement many things. Also great on its own with some plain yoghurt and flatbreads.

Spinach with Sumac (Spanekh wa Sumac) – serves 4

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • oil, for frying
  • 350g baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • a squeeze of lemon

Fry the onion over a very low heat for 20-30 minutes or until softened and almost caramelised. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with the sumac, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam & Dina Mousawi, Trapeze 2017.)

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Spicy Syrian Potatoes

These spicy Syrian potatoes are really delicious and we’re going to be cooking them with lots of dishes. A great alternative to roast potatoes.

Spicy Syrian Potatoes (Batata Harra) – serves 4

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 cm cubes
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • a bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Aleppo pepper

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Roast the potatoes with olive oil and salt for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, quickly fry the garlic, chillies and half the coriander. When the potatoes are ready, mix the fried ingredients with the potatoes, ground Aleppo pepper and the rest of the coriander.

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, Trapeze, 2017.)

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Dill potatoes

We’re always banging on about food waste but can honestly say that at least half the recipes we try, are chosen solely on the basis that they use an ingredient left over from another dish. This is precisely how we came to try this potato dish from Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford’s beautiful book, Samarkand. Dill is one of the herbs we find most difficult to use up and it’s also one we haven’t had a lot of success growing ourselves. Never again will we shy away from recipes using fresh dill, instead we will look forward to melting potatoes with dill the following day.

Melting Potatoes with Dill – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 500g waxy potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1cm slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • a small handful of dill fronds, chopped

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions very slowly until soft and golden. Add the potato slices and garlic and stir into the buttery onions. Season well with salt and cover with a lid.

Cook the potatoes over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Stir through the peppercorns and a handful of fresh dill before serving.

(Original recipe from Samarkand by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford, Kyle Books, 2016.)

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Turnip & Gruyere Gratin

Turnip (or swede as some of you call it) gets a lot of bad press but we absolutely love it and even more so when cooked with lots of cream and cheese. Jono has declared this his favourite turnip dish and has demanded we cook it again.

Gruyère and turnip gratin – serves 4

  • 700g turnip/swede (the large, orange-fleshed variety)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 100g gruyère, grated

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas4.

Peel and thinly slice the turnip – a mandolin or food processor works really well for this.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil then add the turnip and cook for 4 minutes. Drain really well.

Whisk the cream, mustard and garlic together and season. Layer the turnip and mustardy cream alternately and sprinkle in half the cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very tender, browned and bubbling.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe, Olive Magazine, January 2017)

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Creamed Spinach

This is creamed spinach, not that bizarre idea of serving spinach with runny cream, and it truly is the best accompaniment to a barbecued ribeye steak. Our dinner for two on New Year’s Eve.

Creamed spinach – serves 2

  • 300ml whole milk
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, bashed
  • 2 bay leaves, torn
  • 500g main crop spinach
  • 50g butter, plus a bit extra
  • 40g plain flour
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • a large handful of coarse white breadcrumbs
  • a large handful of finely grated Cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 6.

Pour the milk into a medium-sized saucepan and put over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves and bring to a gentle simmer. Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, drop the spinach into a large pan of boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Drain and cool until you can squeeze the excess liquid out with your hands. Roughly chop and set aside.

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it starts to bubble, add the flour and cook and stir for 1 minute before pouring in the infused milk (strain it through a sieve first and discard the onion and herbs). Whisk for 1-2 minutes to make a thick white sauce. Season well with salt and pepper and a good grating of nutmeg, then remove from the heat and fold in the chopped spinach. Spoon the mixture into a small ovenproof dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated cheese and scatter over the dish. Dot with a little butter and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp, golden and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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Buttered Sprouts with Chestnuts & Bacon

Sprouts are not just for Christmas and indeed should be eaten throughout the frosty months in our opinion. We particularly like this recipe with butter, bacon bits and chestnuts – a sprout-lovers dream!

Buttered sprouts with chestnuts & bacon – serves 8 (easily halved)

  • 1.25kg Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 6 rashers streaky smoked bacon cut into bit-sized pieces or cubes of pancetta
  • 200g vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • 50g butter

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and tip in the sprouts. Return to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, then drain and run under the cold tap until cold, then drain again.

Heat a large frying pan, add the bacon and gently fry for 10 minutes until crispy. Scoop the bacon out of the pan with a slotted spoon and leave the fat behind, then add the chestnuts and fry over a high heat for about 5 minutes until they have darkened in places, then tip out of the pan.

Put the sprouts into the frying pan with a splash of water, then cover the pan with a lid and finish cooking over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove the cover, turn up the heat, then add most of the butter and sauté the sprouts for another 2 minutes. Tip in the bacon and chestnuts, season generously, then serve with the last bit of butter on top.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, December 2009.)

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Mushroom Pullao - Khumbi pullao

A gently spiced rice dish flavoured with mushrooms. The perfect accompaniment to a meat curry.

Mushroom Pullao (Khumbi pullao) – serves 6

  • 450ml long-grain rice (use a jug to measure)
  • 1.2 litres plus 600ml of water
  • 150g mushrooms, sliced into 3mm thick slices
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced very thinly
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt

Wash the rice in several changes of water, then drain. Put the rice in a bowl with the 1.2 litres of water and leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain.

Heat the oil in a heavy pot over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the onions start to brown at the edges. Add the mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes, then add the rice, ginger, garam masala and 1 tsp of salt. Turn the heat to medium-low, then stir and sauté the rice for 2 minutes.

Pour in the 600ml of water and bring to a boil. Cover very tightly, turn the heat to very, very low and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and sit, covered and undisturbed for another 5 minutes.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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